Superorganism – ‘Superorganism’ Review

The pop collective channel Animal Collective and MGMT on their kooky debut

The world needs this Superorganism album. Or, at least, Superorganism think so. Speaking to NME last year, guitarist Harry lamented the stale nature of modern pop, saying: “It feels like it needs a bit more fun injected.” By the end of the band’s debut, it’s clear that this album is just what he had in mind.

It’s no surprise that this band are in such a chipper mood considering their dizzying rise. The multinational eight-piece met via music forums in 2016, and in January 2017 they dropped their debut single, ‘Something For Your M.I.N.D.’ The song went viral and speculation it was a new project from Mark Ronson or Damon Albarn surfaced soon after. In September the band announced they’d signed with cult label Domino Records (Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdinand) and played their bonkers first UK show a month later.

Now, seven of the eight members live in a house together in east London, and that chaotic cult-like vibe is obvious on their self-titled debut – a smorgasbord of cartoon noises and quirky pop melodies. ‘Everybody Wants To Be Famous’, for example, fuses the sounds of cash registers ringing and squelching synths – offering an insight into what it would sound like if Gorillaz covered M.I.A.’s ‘Paper Planes’.

The album was also recorded in their new living quarters, with songs passed from room to room between members via email, with each then adding their bit on the production line. As a result, there are knowing nods to elements on earlier tracks: the dreamy guitar twang first heard on ‘Nobody Cares’, for instance, pops up later on ‘Reflections On The Screen’ – and the same video game bleeps are peppered throughout the album’s 35-minutes. It often feels like an in-joke that we’re allowed in on.

Lyrically, there’s little to grasp onto. Generic tech-weary statements dominate ‘Everybody Wants To Be Famous’ and the loose attempts at hooks don’t quite catch on during ‘It’s All Good’: “We know you feel the world is too heavy / But you can turn it all around if you want.” ‘The Prawn Song’, however, is proof that when the group delve deep, there’s glossy and unique choruses to be found: “You do you, I’ll do me / Chillin’ at the bottom of the sea and I say / I’m happy just being a prawn”.

It’s full of colourful characters and, for the most part, each song plays its part in this ambitious and vibrant debut record. Little before has sounded quite as unhinged but fun. Harry was spot on – perhaps this shot to the arm is just what pop music needs right now.